[ noun ob-vurs; adjective ob-vurs, ob-vurs ]
/ noun ˈɒb vɜrs; adjective ɒbˈvɜrs, ˈɒb vɜrs /


the side of a coin, medal, flag, etc., that bears the principal design (opposed to reverse).
the front or principal surface of anything.
a counterpart.
Logic. a proposition obtained from another by obversion.


Nearby words

  1. obuda,
  2. obulg.,
  3. obumbrant,
  4. obumbrate,
  5. obv,
  6. obversion,
  7. obvert,
  8. obviable,
  9. obviate,
  10. obviation

Origin of obverse

1650–60; < Latin obversus turned toward or against (past participle of obvertere), equivalent to ob- ob- + vert(ere) to turn + -tus past participle suffix, with tt > s

Can be confusedconverse inverse obverse reverse

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for obverse

British Dictionary definitions for obverse


/ (ˈɒbvɜːs) /


facing or turned towards the observer
forming or serving as a counterpart
(of certain plant leaves) narrower at the base than at the top


a counterpart or complement
the side of a coin that bears the main design or deviceCompare reverse (def. 15)
logic a categorial proposition derived from another by replacing the original predicate by its negation and changing the proposition from affirmative to negative or vice versa, as no sum is correct from every sum is incorrect
Derived Formsobversely, adverb

Word Origin for obverse

C17: from Latin obversus turned towards, past participle of obvertere, from ob- to + vertere to turn

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for obverse



"turned toward the observer, frontal," 1650s, from Latin obversus "turned against, directed toward," past participle of obvertere "to turn toward or against," from ob "toward" (see ob-) + vertere "to turn" (see versus). According to OED, not in common use until the end of the 18th century. The noun, in reference to coins, medals, etc. (opposite of reverse), is attested from 1650s. Related: Obversely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper